NEW DELHI: Just before the conference, the Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Mishra took up the petitions requesting for an independent probe into the death of Justice Loya, who was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case of 2004, in which police officers and BJP chief Amit Shah are named.
The court did not issue a notice to the Maharashtra government, but asked the standing counsel to seek instructions and slated the hearing for January 15.
A letter, written two months ago, released by the judges on Friday, raised questions on the justice delivery system and the allocation of cases. “There have been instances where a case having far-reaching consequences for the nation and the institution had been assigned by Chief Justice of this court selectively to benches without rationale basis. This must be guarded against at all costs,” says the letter by the judges.
“We are not mentioning details only to avoid embarrassing the institution but note that such departures have already damaged the image of this institution to some extent.”
All the judges dismissed questions on whether they have broken ranks. Justice Gogoi, who is in line to succeed chief justice Misra in October said, “It’s a discharge of debt to the nation which we have done.”
On the question of the remedies ahead and whether they want the CJI to be impeached, Justice Chelameswar said, “Let the nation decide, we are nobody to decide.”
Later, Attorney General K K Venugopal said, “What has happened could have been avoided. The judges will now have to act in statesmanship and ensure that the divisiveness is neutralised and total harmony and understanding will prevail.”
Former CJI K G Balakrishnan said, “They are judges of the Supreme Court. They have to settle differences among themselves. I don’t blame anyone. It is a painful development. While the incident would not affect the court’s space, it would affect its credibility. It should not have happened.”